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View of /sml/trunk/src/cml/doc/ML-Doc/mailbox.mldoc

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Revision 107 - (download) (annotate)
Thu May 28 21:30:17 1998 UTC (21 years, 1 month ago) by monnier
File size: 2702 byte(s)
This commit was generated by cvs2svn to compensate for changes in r106,
which included commits to RCS files with non-trunk default branches.
<!-- mldoc/mailbox.mldoc -->

<!DOCTYPE ML-DOC SYSTEM>

<COPYRIGHT OWNER="Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies" YEAR=1998>
<COPYRIGHT OWNER="AT&AMP;T Research" YEAR=1996>
<VERSION VERID="1.0" YEAR=1996 MONTH=4 DAY=21>
<TITLE>The Mailbox structure</TITLE>

<INTERFACE>
<HEAD>The <STRREF TOPID NOLINK/Mailbox/ structure</HEAD>
<SEEALSO>
  <STRREF TOPID/CML/
</SEEALSO>

<PP>
The <STRREF TOPID NOLINK/Mailbox/ structure provides buffered asynchronous
channels, which we call mailboxes.

<STRUCTURE STRID="Mailbox">
  <SIGBODY SIGID="MAILBOX" FILE=MAILBOX-SIG>
    <SPEC>
      <TYPE><TYPARAM>'a<ID>mbox
      <COMMENT>
	<PP>
	This is the type constructor for a mailbox.
	A mailbox is an unbounded, buffered communication channel.
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>mailbox<TY>unit -> 'a mbox
      <COMMENT>
        <PROTOTY>
          mailbox ()
        </PROTOTY>
        creates a new mailbox.
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>sameMailbox<TY>('a mbox * 'a mbox) -> bool
      <COMMENT>
        <PROTOTY>
          sameMailbox (<ARG/mb1/, <ARG/mb2/)
        </PROTOTY>
        returns <CD/true/, if <ARG/mb1/ and <ARG/mb2/ are the same mailbox.
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>send<TY>('a mbox * 'a) -> unit
      <COMMENT>
        <PROTOTY>
          send (<ARG/mb/, <ARG/msg/)
        </PROTOTY>
        sends the message <ARG/msg/ to the mailbox <ARG/mb/.
	Note that unlike <VALREF STRID="CML"/CML.send/, this is a non-blocking
	operation.
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>recv<TY>'a mbox -> 'a
      <COMMENT>
        <PROTOTY>
          recv <ARG/mb/
        </PROTOTY>
        receive the next message from the mailbox <ARG/mb/.
	If, the mailbox is empty, then this blocks the calling
	thread until there is a message available.
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>recvEvt<TY>'a mbox -> 'a event
      <COMMENT>
        <PROTOTY>
          recvEvt <ARG/mb/
        </PROTOTY>
        returns the event value that represents the <VALREF/recv/ operation
	on <ARG/mb/.
    <SPEC>
      <VAL>recvPoll<TY>'a mbox -> 'a option
      <COMMENT>
	<PP>
        This is the non-blocking version of <VALREF/recv/.
	If the corresponding blocking form would block (because the mailbox is
	empty), then this returns
	<CONREF DOCUMENT=SML-BASIS-DOC STRID="Option"/NONE/, otherwise it returns
	<CONREF DOCUMENT=SML-BASIS-DOC STRID="Option"/SOME/ of the received
	message.
</STRUCTURE>
<PP>
Note that mailbox buffers are unbounded, which means that there is no flow
control to prevent a producer from greatly outstriping a consumer, and thus
exhausting memory.
In situations where there is no natural limit to the rate of
<VALREF STRID="Mailbox"/send/ operations, it is recommended that the
synchronous channels from the <STRREF TOPID/CML/ structure
be used instead.
</INTERFACE>

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